My Road

Up ahead the road turns.  Where does it turn to?  That, I do not know.  All I know is that I have to continue down this road.  This is the road I have chosen to take.  This is the less-traveled road.  The road that most choose not to take.  The exact reason I chose this specific road.  I don’t want to travel down the road taken by most.  I don’t want a road that is well lit, well marked, well worn.  I want a road that is dark.  A road unmarked, hardly traveled, full of potholes and speed bumps.  I want a road that is unknown.  Unfamiliar.  Off the main drag.  Wherever this road turns up ahead, it doesn’t matter to me.  It is not about the end destination.  For me, this road I am traveling down is about the process of learning along the way.  When I don’t know exactly where I am going, when I don’t know exactly how I am going to get where I think I want to go, this challenges me.  This tests me.  This stretches me.  This forces me to learn.  This forces me to adjust.  This forces me to rethink.  This forces me to examine, ponder, question.  This forces me to grow, mature, and let go of myself.  I am thankful for this road.  This road that I have chosen.  No, this road isn’t for everyone.  No, this road isn’t the easy way.  And no, this road isn’t always enjoyable, but this road gives me peace, satisfaction, and at the end of each day, when it’s time to rest, traveling down this road is exactly the road I know I am suppose to be on.  The road less-traveled.  The difficult road.  The uncomfortable road.  The road unlike any other.

Hold Back

My fears want to hold me back.  My anxiety wants to hold me back.  My mind wants to hold me back.  I want to give in.  I want to let up.  I want to be normal.  But I can’t.  And I won’t.  I have to keep going.  I have to press on.  I have to live each day fully.  I have to be a good steward of what has been given to me.  I have to be an example, one to follow.  A leader.  A role model.  I have to test myself.  Challenge myself.  Allow myself to experience uncomfortable.  I have to overcome.  Overcome the fears, the anxiety, the wandering mind.  I have to overcome the pull to be satisfied, content, and complacent.  I have to encourage and teach others.  I have to practice what I preach.

It’s not about me

It’s not about me.  Not even a little bit.  I wasn’t put on this earth to serve myself.  I wasn’t put on this earth to create a better life for me.  Yes, I firmly believe it is crucial we take care of ourselves, our mind, our body, and our spirit.  This will only allow us to serve others in a greater capacity.  But at the end of the day, your life isn’t about you.  This life isn’t about you.  This world doesn’t revolve around you, sorry.  Honestly, there are very few people who actually care one iota about you.  There are very few people in this world who know your name, who know your interests, who know ANYTHING about you.  In the grand scheme of things, you are nothing.  So why do you think you are something?  Why are you so caught up in yourself?  Why are you so arrogant?  Selfish?  Self-centered?  Your life is but a vapor, here today, gone tomorrow.  That is truth.  This is reality.  This life is NOT about you.  This life is about others.  Your life should be about others.  We were made for community.  We were created for others.  To serve others.  To help others.  To protect others.  To love others.  As human beings, we need each other.  We need interaction, communication, fellowship with one another.  Get over yourself.  Get rid of yourself.  Let go of your arrogance.  Let go of your pride.  Let go of your ignorance.  Humble yourself.  Open up yours eyes, open up your ears, open up your heart, that you may learn, grow, mature, share, teach, and serve others.  Step into your purpose.  Step into your destiny.  Become the individual you were created to become.

Youth

I want to have a youth camp.  A camp for troubled youth.  A camp focused on physical training.  A camp focused on leadership.  A camp that focuses on discipline, hard work, and humility.  I want to bring in men who are living examples.  Men who have done, and continue to do hard things, difficult things.  Men who walk their talk.  Real men.  Genuine.  Authentic.  Self-less.  Life long learners.  Through these camps I want to create a culture, a team, a tribe for these troubled youth to be a part of.  I want these youth to be able to connect with the men beyond the camp.  I want to foster mentorship.  Accountability.  Continued learning, growing, exploring, and maturing.  I want this camp to be a turning point.  A turning point in the lives of the youth who come, participate, connect, and finish.  I want this camp to inspire.  Encourage.  Stoke the fire within.  I want this camp to be the beginning of endless opportunity for these youth.  I want this camp to be a step in a new direction.  The right direction.  A step down the road, the trail, the path less-traveled.

Flawed

Why do you want to try to be like someone else?  I found myself often in my youth trying to be like someone else.  I would try to dress, talk, and act like other people.  For one reason or another, I would want to be someone different from who I was.  I attribute a lot of this to the ignorance of my youth.  As young people, we are so impressionable, we are so influenced by those around us, by our peers, teachers, coaches, actors, professional athletes, etc.  We soak in so much of our surroundings.  As youth, we are trying to find our identity.  Trying to figure out where we belong, who we are, how the world works.  I get that.  But what about now?  What about today?  As adults, why so often, do we try to be someone we are not?  Why are we still trying to be like other people?  Why are we not comfortable being who we are?  Why are we not comfortable, confident, in our uniqueness, our beauty, our individuality, our strengths, our weaknesses?  Why do we try to hide ourselves?  Why do we try to ignore who we are, cover up who we are, pretend we are something or someone else?  I see adults constantly putting on a front.  They are hiding behind someone else.  They try to talk like someone else.  They try to act like someone else.  They are simply, not themselves.  To be frank, it’s weird.  It’s awkward.  And honestly, it’s sad.  Adults trying to be another adult.  Adults so insecure in themselves, they hide themselves behind another flawed adult.  We have to realize all of us are flawed.  We all have issues.  We all have problems.  I don’t care who you are, where you live, what your profession is, how much money is in your bank account, what type of degrees you have, so on and so forth, at the end of the day, all humans are one in the same.  We came from the dust, and we will return to the dust.  On a human level, no one is above anyone else.  So, why hide?  Why hide behind another flawed, messed up, imperfect human being?  Why hide who you are and what you have to offer the world?  Just like everyone else, you have gifts, talents, abilities, and a voice.  You count.  You are a part of the game of life, just as much as anyone else.  You matter.  You are important.  What you have to offer, is important, it is valuable.  We need you to be you.  We need you to be who God created you to be.  There is only one of you.  Just as there is only one of me.  If we hide behind someone else, we are wasting our lives, we are wasting our opportunities.  The world doesn’t need a copy of someone else, the world needs you, the world needs me.  Just as we are.  Flaws and all.

Don’t Quit

Keep going.  Keep moving forward.  Continue to take one step in the right direction each day.  Don’t give up.  Don’t quit.  You never know what today may bring.  You never know what may be around the next turn, around the next corner, through that next door.  Life ebbs and flows.  Yes, we will experience difficulties, struggles, unexpected heartaches, but we will also experience victories, celebrations, and will have so many opportunities to positively impact others.  We have to face today.  Accept what today holds.  Embrace today.  We must learn to go with the flow.  To allow what will be, to be.  No matter what the day may bring forth, we have to keep pressing on.  Continue to grind.  Continue to learn, apply, and grow.  We have to continue to share.  Continue to explore.  Continue to love.  Live boldly.  Live authentically.  Be you.  Don’t quit!

Given to Give

This life is not about you.  This life is not about me.  This life is about others.  Life is about helping others.  Life is about building others up.  Life is about listening to others.  Life is about loving others.  Life is about giving to others, what you have been given.  Each of us have been given specific gifts, talents, and abilities.  Each of us are beautifully different.  We all have a uniqueness that adds to the color of life.  We all have something to add to this world.  We all have value to add to this life.  We have been given to give!  In order for us to give what we have been given, we need to know who we are, we need to know what we have been given, to give.  Take the time to self-examine, self-reflect.  SLOW DOWN.  Take a step back.  Who are you?  What is your identity?  What is your life foundation?  What fire burns within you?  What excites you?  Where are you going?  In order to help others, you first have to help yourself.  In order to understand others, you have to understand yourself.  In order to give to others, you have to know and accept what has been given to you.